Palm Beach County Officers
Click! on any photo to read about that member of the Board.
Terrie Heinrich Rizzo
Terrie Rizzo is the former Vice-Chair of the Palm Beach County Democratic Party. She was unanimously re-elected as PBC's Vice Chair in 2008, Terrie Heinrich Rizzo moved to Boca Raton in 2002 with her husband, Mike, an I.T. executive with Tyco, Inc. Prior to coming to Florida, Terrie & Mike lived in Baltimore, the San Francisco Bay area, and Brussels, Belgium.
Raised as a military brat, Terrie is a graduate of Penn State and Johns Hopkins Universities, and has over 30 years of experience in health & fitness education and communications. She is a specialist in adult exercise, ergonomics, and back injury prevention, and is the author of several books and numerous academic and consumer articles. Terrie was the Assistant Director of University Relations at UMBC, the founder and executive director of Aerobic Danse de Belgique as one of the first fitness organizations in Europe, and the Director of Health & Fitness Education Programs at Stanford University's Health Improvement Program. Since "retiring" to Florida, she teaches and consults on fitness programming, and writes health/fitness articles for national women's and health publications.
Terrie has been active in numerous civic organizations in every community in which she has lived and with the Penn State Alumni Association, where she has served two terms on the PSAA Executive Board and was chair of the national task force that developed the award-winning Penn State National Service Week. She also speaks fluent French and was president of the Womens' International Study Group while living in Brussels. Terrie joined the DEC after working on the 2004 Election and has served as precinct captain of 4092 (Boca Bay Colony) and as co-chair of the DEC VOICE (Volunteer Outreach, Information, & Community Events) Committee.
First elected as PBC's Vice Chair in 2006, Terrie is especially committed to the importance of communications, outreach, & grassroots involvement (and she vows to make the PBC DEC not only the best and most effective DEC in Florida and the U.S., but also the healthiest bunch of Democrats in the country! LOL!)
Deandre J. Poole, Ph.D. was born and raised in West Palm Beach, FL. In 1999, Dr. Poole graduated from Suncoast Community High School in Riviera Beach, FL. As a graduating senior, he was awarded the prestigious "Reach for Excellence" Pathfinder Award by the Palm Beach Post for outstanding academic achievement. He went on to complete his BA degree and MA degree in Communication from Florida Atlantic University (FAU), and his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Communication and Culture from Howard University.
Currently, Dr. Poole is a new junior faculty member in the School of Communication and Multimedia Studies at FAU. He teaches courses such as leadership and communication, organizational communication, nonverbal communication, and intercultural theory. Dr. Poole's research program focuses on the role mediated messages play in shaping individual attitudes and beliefs concerning issues of justice and inequality, and examines how leaders, organizations and other influential authorities dominate and oppress marginalized groups of people. In 2009, Dr. Poole completed his doctoral dissertation entitled: The Historic Presidential Campaign of 2008: A Content Analysis of Selected News Magazines Portrayal of Senator Barack Obama as a Mythical Hero in His Bid for the Presidency of the United States. His research has been presented at state, regional, national and international conferences. Presently, he is authoring the book, Obamamania: The Rise of a Mythical Hero, to be published by the Edwin Mellon Press. He has been teaching at the university level for six years.
As a doctoral candidate, Dr. Poole was inducted into the Edward Alexander Bouchet Honor Society at Yale University for his academic achievements. Likewise, as a graduate student at Florida Atlantic University, he served as the Department of Communication's representative to the American Democracy Project-South annual conference in Atlanta, GA. At this conference, he presented information regarding the challenges and successes regarding student engagement in American Democracy at FAU.
As a result of his interest in politics, he prides himself in being actively engaged in civic affairs. Currently, Dr. Poole serves as a precinct captain for Precinct 7021 in West Palm Beach, as a club officer for the Together We Stand Democratic Club, and a member of the West Palm Beach Democratic Club. His political activities involve community empowerment, and working with community leaders and elected officials to insure the needs of all people.
In April 2011, Dr. Poole was appointed to the position of Recording Secretary for the Palm Beach County Democratic Executive Committee. He is a member of Lighthouse Worship Center Church of God in Christ, Fort Lauderdale, FL, where he serves as a member of the usher board. Dr. Poole resides in West Palm Beach, FL.
Robert Diffenderfer was born in Lansing, Michigan in 1956. His family moved to Tallahassee, Florida in 1960 and he attended elementary and high school there, graduating from Leon High School in 1974. He attended Michigan State University and Florida State University, graduating with a B.A. in philosophy, cum laude, from FSU in 1980. He attended Georgetown University Law Center and earned his J.D. in 1984. He practiced law in Washington, D.C. and in Naples, Florida before relocating to Palm Beach County in 1989. Since 1989 his practice has consisted of complex environmental and land use and local and state government law matters. He is a shareholder in the firm of Lewis, Longman & Walker, a state-wide law firm with offices in West Palm Beach, Tallahassee, Jacksonville and Bradenton. He holds an AV rating with Martindale-Hubbell and was recently selected as a 2008 Florida Super Lawyer.
Bob has been active in many local, state and federal campaigns since moving to Palm Beach County. These include the Lawton Chiles, Bob Graham, Bill Nelson and Alex Sink campaigns. He has worked closely with the Florida Democratic Party coordinated campaign through many election cycles. He has been a DEC member for many years and currently represents Precinct 7050 in West Palm Beach where he resides with his wife Michelle and daughters Hope, 5, and Lily, 4. His oldest child Charlie, 22, resides in New York.
Deidre E. Newton
Deidre Newton is a fourth-generation Floridian and lifetime resident of Palm Beach County. She is a Florida Licensed Real Estate Broker, Licensed Mortgage Broker and a Licensed Florida Auctioneer.
She is an active member of the Jupiter-Tequesta-Hobe Sound Association of Realtors , (JTHS) where she co-chairs the Leadership Academy . Newton is a leadership graduate from her local board and the Florida Association of Realtors.(FAR)
As a 22-year real estate professional, she is a nationally recognized property-disposition specialist, a Florida Supreme Court-trained mediator and a regular participant on panels and boards as a real estate expert. Newton is often quoted in newspapers and the press on the trends in real estate and most recently on economic conditions and the real estate market.
Newton earned an Masters of Business Administration ( M.B.A.) from Nova Southeastern University – H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship and holds a Bachelors of Business Administration ( B.B.A.) from Northwood University in Marketing. Newton is a proud graduate of her local Palm Beach Community College and earned an AA in Journalism .
Newton is a former elected official in Palm Beach County having served on the Palm Beach County Soil and Water Conservation district from 1998-2002. She is the Vice Chair of the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council and is an Elected Precinct Leader for 2072 in West Palm Beach. Newton has also served on the Platform Committee for the DNC in 2004 for the Kerry- Edwards Campaign. She has been a campaign coordinator,donor and surrogate speaker on Presidential,Senatorial,Congressional, Mayoral and Local elections in Florida and Palm Beach County.
Newton lives in historic Flamingo Park West Palm Beach with her partner Kerry Gallagher of 20 years.
Bunny Steinman is the newly elected PBC Democratic State Committeewoman, succeeding Committeewoman-Emeritus Katherine Kelly as PBC's representative to the Florida Democratic Party. A New York native, Bunny earned degrees from Syracuse University, Queens College, and Manhattanville College, as well as 60 post-graduate credits toward a doctorate in the field of art education. Now retired from a professional career as in art teacher with 32 years of experience in the NY State school system, Bunny served as Instructor & Supervisor of Student Teachers at Manhattanville College. She is a Past President of the NY State Art Teachers Association, and currently serves as co-President of the Teachers Retirement in Florida (Suncoast Chapter).
After cutting her political teeth as Democratic Committeewoman in Great Neck, NY, Bunny and her late husband moved to south Florida 17 years ago, where she has continued her extensive political involvement. Bunny is a resident of Indian Spring in Boynton Beach and has been very active in Indian Springs community associations, the League of Women Voters, and COBWRA. Bunny has served as Committeewoman for Precinct 5032 and a member of the DEC since 1999, and also been extremely active with the Democratic Club of Greater Boynton, serving as Executive Vice Chair and Campaign Co-Chair from 2001-2007, and Club President since 2007.
As Co-Chair of the DEC's Precinct Coordinating Committee, Bunny has helped lead the development of the DEC's Zone system for effective GOTV, and currently serves as Area Leader for Area 2 (mid-county), overseeing four zones encompassing more than 280 precincts. She has been a member of the Coordinated Campaign Committee for the 2000, 2004, 2006, and 2008 elections, and was the volunteer office manager for the DEC South County Office for the entire 2008 campaign season. She was thrilled to serve as a Delegate to the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver and participate in the nomination of Barack Obama.
Bunny is the proud mother of a daughter, two sons, and eight gorgeous grandchildren. Anyone who knows her knows that Bunny is well-named -- like the Energizer Bunny, she has boundless energy and never stops!
John A. Ramos is the newly elected Democratic State Committeeman for Palm Beach County. The role of the Democratic State Committeeman serves to represent your interests and will with the Florida Democratic Party. "I am ready to serve you and our party, by providing the accurate reporting and effective/transparent communication necessary to solidify the cause of democracy and reflect our positive and vibrant PBC community. I will become the conduit for the DEC Board and that of all the clubs. I will work hard for all of YOU and provide updates and present information to make our board and clubs strong.
I have enjoyed a thirty-year career rich in opportunities to exercise my skills involving Intergovernmental Relations and especially concerning complex intergovernmental web of plans, policies, and regulations. I take great pride in successfully navigating Federal, State, County, and regional channels toward the betterment of communities. My strongest asset has always been to pull together diverse mixtures of persons and personalities in the drive toward one objective and it is my intention to continue applying these talents to the benefit of the Palm Beach County Democratic Party.
Education: Masters Degree in Public Administration, Nova Southeastern University; B.A. Degree in Urban & Regional Planning, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL.
Political: DEC Committeeman for Pct 4192 (Delray Beach); Hispanic Democratic Caucus of PBC - Board Member, Treasurer; Democrat Club of Delray Beach - Board Member, Program & Membership Committee.
I am dedicated to the election of Democrats to all local, state and federal posts. The Democratic Party is back and we are proud of what we have accomplished and be remindful of the magnitude of the challenges we face. I appreciate the opportunity to help lead the change and effort to strengthen the Democratic Party. We can and must build on the promise of Barack Obama's election. Yes we can! Si se puede!"./p>
Ken Sommers D.D.S. was born in New York City and attended De Witt Clinton High School. The family moved to New Jersey and he received his high school diploma from Weehawken High School. Dr. Sommers attended Fairleigh Dickenson University in Rutherford New Jersey and upon graduation enrolled in New York University College of Dentistry. He graduated third in the class of 1970, receiving the Italian American award for all around proficiency in General Dentistry as well as being induced into the OKU Dental Honor Society.
Dr. Sommers actively practiced dentistry for thirty-five year and was the CEO of Kenneth L. Sommers D.D.S. The firm owned a two-story office in Mineola, Long Island, and had twenty-five employees including four general dentists, dental specialists and hygienists. Dr. Sommers retired in June of 2005 and moved to Florida in December of 2005.
Dr. Sommers was actively engaged in the United States Coast Guard Auxillary for fifteen years, rising to the rank of Vice Captain. He served as a Coxswain (Mission Leader) for on the water boating activities with the Coast Guard and Coast Guard Auxiliary.
Dr. Sommers is a life long digital design hobbyist with experience building and running webpages as well as email programs and image editing.
Ken’s passion for justice, equally and a fair shake for the middle class has lead him to the Palm Beach Democratic Party. He is proud to serve as your Recording Secretary.
Jack Sadow is married, has five children and nine grand children. He was graduated from Georgia Tech, and is a retired Air Force Lt Colonel. Before moving to Florida he worked in NYC prior to starting a burglar alarm installation company in Freehold, New Jersey, working with community developers. He has served as President of the New Jersey Burglar & Fire Alarm Association, and National Secretary responsible for coordinating and restructuring state alarm associations across the country. Jack was a leader in the Boy Scouts, President of the B'nai B'rith Lodge in Freehold and a commuter activist. He was President of the Freehold Township Transportation Board and also the Central Jersey Transportation Board coordinating the efforts of commuters.
After retiring in Florida in 1995, Jack was President of the Greater Lake Worth Unit of B'nai B'rith and then communications coordinator for the Greater Florida Region. He has served as president of his homeowners association, and is currently a member of the board.
With over 40 years experience in organizing and coordinating the operation of volunteer organizations, in Florida he was a volunteer coordinator for Jean Elliott Brown's campaign in 2000 to unseat Mark Foley. He has been is member of the DEC since 1999. Jack is a past president and currently a vice-president of the Lake Worth West Democratic Club, as well as a member of the Mid-County Democratic Club. He served as Palm Beach County coordinator for visibility in the Janet Reno primary campaign and the Bill McBride election campaign. In 2003 he was elected as Vice Chair of the Palm Beach County Democratic Executive Committee. In the 2006 campaign, he organized and coordinated the operation of the Wellington Area Campaign Office. He has been involved with the operation of our offices at the Crexent Business Center since 2008. He is responsible for the Research & Issue Development Team and worked on the development of our Coordinated Communication Plan. Since 2005 he has been publishing factual flyers with campaign issues for Democratic clubs and general distribution.
Justice Ira J. Raab
Hon. Ira J. Raab was born in Manhattan in 1935. He attended elementary and junior high school at Rabbi Jacob Joseph Yeshiva and graduated from Seward Park High School. He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree (BBA) from City College of the City of New York in 1955; a Juris Doctor Law Degree (JD) from Brooklyn Law School in 1957; a Masters Degree in Public Administration (MPA) from New York University Graduate School of Public Administration and Social Service in 1959; a Master of Science Degree in Business Management (MS) from Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus, in l961; and a Master of Business Administration Degree (MBA) from Adelphi University, Garden City, NY in 1990.
He was admitted to the New York State Bar in l958, the U. S. District Court in 1960, the Supreme Court of the U.S. in l967, the U. S. Tax Court in 1976, and the U. S. Court of Appeals in 1977.
He has been politically active since 1952. In the 60's he was an Assistant to New York State Democratic Chair William H. McKeon; Counsel to the New York State Democratic Platform and Resolutions Committee; Law Chair of Manhattan's Lower East Side Democratic Club; and active in Long Island's Five Towns Democratic Club. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the West Palm Beach Democratic Club, and a member of the Mid-County Democratic Club of Palm Beach County.
His non-judicial public service in the 1960's includes Attorney for the NYC Department of Correction; Staff Counsel of the U. S. Small Business Administration; and Assistant Corporation Counsel in the Law Department of the City of New York. In the 1970's, he was General Counsel of the Richmond County (NY) Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (SPCC); and Trial Commissioner for the NYC Department of Correction.
Judge Raab was elected as a New York State District Court Judge in 1996; elected as Presiding Judge of the District Court in 1999, and elected as a Justice of the New York State Supreme Court in 2000, retiring in 2003. His other judicial adjunct positions include Arbitrator of the Small Claims Court of the Civil Court of the City of New York (1970-1996); Special Master of the Supreme Court (1977-1996); Hearing Officer of the Supreme Court (1986-1996, 2003-2008); Arbitrator of the Small Claims Part of the Nassau County District Court (1978-1996); Arbitrator of the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York (1982-1996, 2003-Present); and Arbitrator for National Arbitration and Mediation (NAM) (2003-Present).
As an Adjunct Professor, he taught various law courses at Briarcliffe University in New York and Keiser University in West Palm Beach. He is presently an Adjunct Professor of American Government at Northwood University in West Palm Beach.
In 2006, Justice Raab moved to West Palm Beach, where he serves as Chair of the City of West Palm Beach Criminal Justice Advisory Committee (CJAC); Vice Chair of the West Palm Beach City Green Task Force (CGTF); a member of the WPB Channel 18 Advisory Committee; and a member of the Palm Beach County State's Attorney Advisory Committee. He previously served as a member of the Comprehensive Planning Committee of the City of West Palm Beach.
Professionally, he served as District Governor, National Treasurer, Historian and member of the Executive Committee of the American Judges Assn.; President and Board Chair of the American Judges Foundation; Member of the Executive Committee and Chair of the Courts and the Community Committee of the Lawyers Conference of the American Bar Assn; Secretary of the District, City, Village and Town Courts Committee and a member of the Constitution Committee of the New York State Bar Association; President of the Association of Arbitrators of the Small Claims Division of the Civil Court of the City of New York; President of the Association of Arbitrators of the Small Claims Division of the District Court; and member of the Executive Committee of the International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists.
Justice Raab and his wife, Gloria, have 8 children and 17 grandchildren.